response to suggested answers
Thread poster: David Hollywood

David Hollywood  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:49
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dec 20, 2010

I would like to hear feedback on how different language-specific communities respond to answers suggested and if there is a difference in practice (in my experience there is but would be interested to hear how others feel and see this issue)

 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 10:49
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Yes, cultural difference Dec 20, 2010

In My language pair: English-Thai, replies [where I spent much time to search and complete them] are not fed back even for many years! An ignoring community against translation activity?

Soonthon Lupkitaro


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:49
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Could you clarify? Dec 20, 2010

I am sorry, but I am at loss as to what you are asking.
Is this about KudoZ?


 

Michal Glowacki  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:49
Member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
Not sure Dec 20, 2010

I'm not really sure what you mean here. Do you mean "do people give agrees/neutrals/disagrees" to answers? Or what?

 

David Hollywood  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:49
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
clarifying question Dec 20, 2010

Just to clarify as you asked ... I have noticed a difference in response behavior (neutral/agreeing/disagreeing) in the language pairs Spanish/English and German/English and was wondering if this is culturally based (some cultures may find it problematic to express an opinion on someone else's input while others may not)... My question is out of pure interest in establishing if there is a connection between cultural background and response activity. Please feel free to add your commentsicon_smile.gif

David


 

Michal Glowacki  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:49
Member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
Clear now Dec 21, 2010

Ah, ok. Well, I can see that there's no problem with agrees/disagrees/neutral in both English>Polish and Polish>English. There's quite a few people active and they comment on their peers proposals. Probably what I can see is that there's less negatives than there could be. If someone's answer is not extremely wrong or stupid, it will most probably be marked with a neutral rather then a negative. Beats me why, but that's the way I've noticed it to be.
As for Russian>Polish - I believe the community is much smaller, hence - activity is small and the number of questions is negligible.

That's my two cents.


 

Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:49
Member
French to English
+ ...
Definite cultural differences, yes! Dec 21, 2010

I work in FR EN, and also dip into other language pairs occasionally.

With the caveat that it is of course a sweeping generalization, I'd say that I do notice a very clear cultural difference: anglophones generally are not afraid to "tell it like it is" and agree, neutral or disagree according to their opinion — it's a shame there isn't some way of being able to say 'disagree slightly', which is often the case. I prefer to avoid thinking of it using such an emotive term as 'disagree' — the question I ask myself is "Could I support the use of this term as a correct translation in this context?" I can't help feeling that the terms 'support / don't support' would be less emotionally charged and hence less likely to arouse indignant reactions. And generally, too, anglophones seem more prepared to "take it on the chin" and accept disagrees graciously — in fact, many people say 'thank you' (if room!) for all peer comments, positive or negaitve; I've not observed much of this in other languages. That's not to say, of course, that they don't also argue their corner vociferously when necessary!

But I have noticed that FR people in particular seem to think it is poor manners to even venture to disagree with somebody — even though that is surely the whole point of the system! — and tend to feel that "if you can't say something nice, then it's better to shut up" I totally agree in daily social life; but I think it's a rather dangerous policy when discussing translations for a nuclear reactor!

I don't know whether it's the fiery latin temperament icon_smile.gif but I have noticed that people from the generally 'Latin' countries tend to react very angrily to 'disagrees', however well deserved they might be, and in particular, are highly sensitive at anything that might even suggest that their ability in EN (for example) might be sub-optimal compared to an ENS. Yes, I know KudoZ rules forbid us from calling into question someone's linguistic abilities; but sometimes, simply by posting a peer comment at all, there is inevitably at least an implied criticism, however diplomatically one tries to wrap it up (in only 255 chs, too!) — and even if there isn't, the answerer often seems to look for criticism where none was intended!

Some people even complain "You only gave me a 'neutral'!" — when I thought the whole point of introducing the 'neutral' option all those years ago was for just that reason: to enable one to make a neutral comment that neither supports nor doesn't support an answer. Ah me, there's no satisfying some people!


 

David Hollywood  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:49
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Tony Dec 21, 2010

you have responded in great depth and I appreciate your comments very muchicon_smile.gif the socio-linguistic aspect of how we relate to each other binds us and builds communities that share accumulated (albeit sometimes not perfect) "knowledge" and that's why I keep supporting and enjoying this great siteicon_smile.gif

 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 05:49
German to Serbian
+ ...
I don't think so Dec 21, 2010

I have experience participating in my native pairs combined with English and English-French pair and from what I've perceived there isn't much difference in rapport, dynamic etc. The only difference is that FR-EN pair is more active and saturated.

It's rather about personality models, than cultural models, I'm afraid.


 

xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 23:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, there are significant differences Dec 21, 2010

I get involved in the eng - fre/esp/por/ita pairs to a greater or lesser extent and have observed significant differences in the ways certain categories of peers respond to suggested answers. But these differences seem to be based more on socio-cultural circumstances, and life experience, than on mere language.

In the eng/esp pairs, for example, one thing I’ve noticed (and I’d be interested to know if David has noticed it too, from his side of the Andes) is a greater degree of tolerance to well-documented disagrees exchanged between peers in Latin America south of the equator, compared to peers sharing the same languages north of the equator. Peers living in Spain seem to fall somewhere between the two. I suspect that the relative weights of US and EU influence in these sub-regions are at play here, rather than ‘mere’ language – to the point that some Spanish-speaking peers based a little way south of the Bridge of the Americas seem closer to the traditional US/gringo stereotype than most of those living to the north of that border crossing.

That said, I think there is a far more significant difference between the responses/reactions of what might (with all due respect) be termed ‘the older generation’ (of which I now consider myself a part…), on the one hand, and those of the newbies, on the other hand; and that regardless of geography or language. Time and again, less-experienced peers will openly cast abrasive aspersions on the views of their elders simply because, for example, the fields of the question don’t appear as specialisations in the answerer’s profile. But they forget that when you have 40 or more years of professional life behind you (not to mention 20 or 25 years of organised learning before that), you may be not only a credible source of useful (but possibly out-dated) information relating to your prehistoric studies and mainstream career, but you have also garnered valuable experience, knowledge and insight in many other fields; knowledge which, for better or worse, one accumulates as life goes on and may be willing to share.

To quote just one example: as an engineer I frequently get extraordinarily disagreeable ‘disagrees’, across the board as far as language-pair or geographical location is concerned, in response to proposed translations for terms in the field of Law, merely on the grounds of “What the **** do you know about the law – it’s not even mentioned in your profile or CV – you’re just (sic) an engineer!”. There is a tiny handful of peers here who know something of my skirmishes with the law, and even fewer – including some lawyers, I might add – who realise that my non-professional experience has embraced some aspects of the law in considerable depth and that I may have something worthwhile to share – as is demonstrated by the fact that, despite being a ‘mere engineer’, I have more Kudoz in General Law than in General Engineering.

So, without wishing in any way to hijack David’s thread, I would venture to suggest that what’s striking in some colleagues’ form of response to suggested answers is not necessarily bound up with an understanding and acceptance of language or cultural differences, but that it quite often derives from a short-sighted appreciation of the value of longevity.

MediaMatrix


 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
I'll confess to one thing... Dec 30, 2010

I have no hesitation about disagreeing when I think an answer is completely wrong. But if it's posted by someone who consistently gives high-quality answers, I give them a neutral instead.

 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:49
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
confession time Dec 30, 2010

philgoddard wrote:

I'll confess to one thing...


You should also confess to something else, Phil...
This morning I caught you compensating for an unfounded disagree by giving your agree. I think you should have been a diplomat, not a translater. icon_smile.gif


 

Beatriz Ramírez de Haro  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:49
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Well... Dec 30, 2010

You should also confess to something else, Phil...
This morning I caught you compensating for an unfounded disagree by giving your agree. I think you should have been a diplomat, not a translater.

I've been tempted to do the same thing a few times.
The "disagree" button in the wrong hands is a dangerous weapon. Periodically, in the ENG-ESP pair, an enthusiastic newbie fills the place with unfounded and unhelpful disagrees. When requested to post an answer instead, it's usually a very poor one.
Eventually, they get tired and disappear, but the unfair disagrees remain.


 


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